In any Radio Amateur's life, there are always numerous other Amateurs that have provided invaluable help, guidance and advice that do much to mould the character and operating habits of the individual. Over the past 20-plus years, there have been a number of fellow Amateurs that have had a profound effect on my development as a Radio Amateur, and I would like to express my eternal thanks to the following people (in chronological order):

Rory can claim the credit for introducing me to Amateur Radio in the first place! My first encounter with Amateur Radio was back in 1981, when I met Rory (who was living in Johannesburg at the time and using his ZS6HN callsign). I was a schoolboy, spending my free time on CB radio. Rory was in Port Elizabeth (his hometown) on holiday, and attended a gathering of a group of CBers. For the first time in my life I saw a 144 MHz radio, and was intrigued by the conversation. On his subsequent visits I became even more fascinated, and once finished with school my best friend Glyn Rose-Christie (now ZS2AAE) and myself enquired about RAE classes. We attended these in 1984 largely due to Rory's encouragement, and the rest is history. It is thus all Rory's fault that I am a Radio Amateur!!

I attended RAE classes at Al's QTH in 1984, and it was due to his patient teaching that I was finally able to pass the RAE on my second attempt in 1985. Having never as much as seen an electronic circuit before starting Al's classes, being able to pass a written exam (no multiple choice monkeypuzzle in those days!) was an achievement that is largely due to Al's patience!. Over subsequent years Al has always been willing to assist with advice, willingly sharing his vast experience.

It is solely thanks to Marianne and Charles that I returned to the hobby from a 5-year absence. I had at that stage (2001) been in Johannesburg for 5 years, and due to several changes of address and living in townhouse complexes where radio masts were not permitted, my licence had lapsed. Marianne worked for one of my clients in Johannesburg, and when in conversation it came out that she was an Amateur she insisted that I should get my licence reinstated. Charles provided me with the details of the licencing authority, and both he and Marianne continued to pressurise me until I finally went to see the relevant authorities and sorted out my licence. Charles then assisted me to get set up and on the air again. Without Marianne and Charles, I would probably still be off the air!!!

Without Ton's assistance, I wouldn't have got off first base with Digital operation. Ton had the patience to sit me down and assist me with the building of my first-ever electronic project - an elementary soundcard interface! It was this interface that launched me on the WSJT trail, and Ton's insistence that I do the assembly with him helped me to be able to build this simple project on my own, which brought a number of others into digital operation as well. A keen Packet Radio operator, Ton also spent considerable time helping me to set up and understand Packet Radio. A gifted technical man, Ton showed immense patience with my decidedly non-technical demeanour. For this I will be forever grateful! Rest in peace Ton....

When I first met Hal in 2001, I had just acquired my first 6m-equipped radio and was finding my way into the wonderful world of VHF DXing. Hal was always willing to provide advice and assistance, taking a raw novice and helping me to understand many of the secrets of 50 MHz DXing (and general DXing too!!) Hal was instrumental in developing my interest in Digital communications, as we experimented with the WSJT software on 50 MHz. It was also thanks to Hal that I was able to enjoy portable 50MHz operation during 2002, and he also assisted me in improving my 50 MHz antenna system. Since my move to Port Elizabeth, Hal has remained in regular contact, always prepared to offer assistance at any time.

John and his wife Louisa ZS6LU have been my closest friends since 2002. Having got to know John through 50 MHz operation, we soon developed a very strong friendship, which has continued unaffected despite my move to Port Elizabeth. John was instrumental in me finally achieving my long-standing ambition to become active on Amateur satellites, and has provided considerable technical assistance in the development of my station. An extremely competent technician with little patience for "wannabes" that don't get stuck in to actually do what they talk about, John has been a major factor in my development as a proactive Amateur. Always willing to assist with advice and suggestions, John is a great help to me on an ongoing basis!

Upon my return to Port Elizabeth in 2003, Ken rapidly became my closest Amateur friend and confidant. I had made his acquaintance a year before whilst travelling through the Eastern Cape, and we quickly realised that we were kindred spirits. His amazingly positive approach to life was an inspiration - despite suffering from terminal cancer, Ken was always willing to experiment with the latest technologies, and provided a willing partner to experiment with various digital modes and interfaces. He was also always willing to pass on his knowledge and experience gained in more than 50 years of HF DXing. I learned an enormous amount from Ken, and was honoured to call him my friend. Right up to his passing in December 2007 Ken remained an active Amateur, and some 2 weeks before his death was still experimenting with digital modes on 17m! Rest In Peace, Ken!

Whilst I have never met Don, his advice and recommendations have played a major role in my development as an RTTY operator. His patient, thoughtful responses to my numerous emails have given me excellent advice that has proved itself time and again. Coupled with his outstanding websites, Don's direct advice has taken me from moderate RTTY efforts to respectable scores in a very short time. Without Don's advice and help I would not have got very far!

I met Donovan at my cousin's wedding in 2005, and we became very good friends over the subsequent years. I worked for Donovan's company (Ham Radio Outlet - SA) for 4 years, and we have had great fun combining our hobby with business. Donovan is a very accomplished CW operator, and it is largely through his influence that I have pursued contacts in this mode. We also chase DX together, to very good effect!
In August 2016 Donovan provided even greater assistance when he served as Best Man at my wedding!

Every Radio Amateur needs antennas to be successful, and Glen as a trained rigger has provided enormous help by always being available to climb my tower and perform whatever antenna-related tasks are required. Without Glen I would not have the sizeable array of antennas that I am able to enjoy!!

Not only has Andre been a good friend for over 30 years, he is also an excellent Radio Technician and my go-to guy for radio repairs, modifications and technical advice. It is thanks to Andre that my radio eqipment is kept in good working order!

Whilst there have been numerous other people over the years that have played a part in my development as a Radio Amateur, the above-mentioned stand out as major influences. To them, a special thank-you!